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Fulcrum BioEnergy completes construction of Sierra BioFuels W2F plant

US-based waste-to-fuels (W2F) process developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc (Fulcrum), has announced that it has completed construction on the Sierra BioFuels Plant in Reno, Nevada (NV), dubbed as the world’s first commercial-scale plant converting prepared municipal solid waste (MSW) into low-cost, zero-carbon transportation fuels. With construction complete, start-up and commissioning on the plant has commenced and fuel production is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., has completed construction on the Sierra BioFuels Plant in Reno, Nevada (NV). Start-up and commissioning on the plant has commenced and fuel production is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2021 (photo courtesy Fulcrum).

Located east of Reno, Nevada (NV), the Sierra BioFuels Plant will convert 175 000 tonnes of prepared municipal solid waste (MSW) into approximately 11 million (US) gallons (≈ 41.6 million litres) of zero-carbon syncrude annually, which will then be upgraded to transportation fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel and renewable gasoline – collectively known as “Fulcrum Fuel”.

Patented and certified

Fulcrum Fuel has been patented and fully certified as a drop-in fuel for use in planes, cars, and trucks, with improved performance over conventional petroleum-based fuels. Fulcrum’s ongoing growth program will be particularly focused on de-carbonizing air travel by supplying the airline industry with the company’s zero-carbon SAF.

Completing construction is a monumental milestone not only for Fulcrum and our dedicated team who have worked tirelessly to make Sierra a reality but also for our shared commitment to the environment and our local communities. Fulcrum Fuel produced at Sierra will divert hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from a local landfill every year, while also helping our customers achieve their net zero-carbon emissions goals. We couldn’t be more proud to bring the world’s first waste-to-fuels plant online in the coming months, said Eric Pryor, President and CEO of Fulcrum.

Fulcrum’s proprietary waste-to-fuels process diverts large volumes of MSW from local landfills and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 100 percent on a lifecycle basis.

In addition to providing solutions for the ever-increasing challenges of waste disposal, Fulcrum Fuel is the company says, an “environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and certified alternative” to petroleum-based fuel for industries such as aviation which are seeking solutions to climate change.

Fulcrum has patented the processes and systems for converting the organic materials found in municipal solid waste into Fischer-Tropsch (FT) liquids and upgraded transportation fuel products.

Additional plant sites planned

Beyond Sierra, Fulcrum’s large commercial growth program has identified eight future plant locations in the United States (US) with the capacity to produce more than 400 million (US) gallons (≈ 1.5 billion litres) of drop-in transportation fuel each year.

Fulcrum has secured feedstock for Sierra and for future plants from its waste services partners and has entered into fuel offtake agreements with its strategic partners including bp, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, World Fuel Services, and Marubeni.

As previously announced, the company’s next project – the Centerpoint BioFuels Plant – will be located in Gary, Indiana (IN) with MSW sourced from the greater Chicago and northern Indiana areas.

Fulcrum has secured the biorefinery site, completed initial engineering, and has submitted permits for Centerpoint, which will have three times the capacity of Sierra, producing approximately 35 million gallons (≈ 132.4 million litres) of drop-in transportation fuel annually.

The company is also finalizing site selection for its third project, to be located in the Houston/Gulf Coast area, with a planned capacity to also produce 35 million gallons (≈ 132.4 million litres) of certified, zero-carbon, drop-in fuel annually.

In addition, Fulcrum is working with its partners to develop waste-to-fuels projects in select international markets.

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